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Chana Sukka (Sweet & Spicy Chickpea & Coconut Sauté)

A tasty chickpea favourite from Alberta-based food blogger Michelle Peters-Jones and


  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unscented oil or ghee
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small tomato, finely diced (optional)
  • 2–3 tsp (10-15 mL) bafat spice mix (see tip)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked chickpeas or 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) no-salt-added chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) hot water
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) tamarind concentrate
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) grated palm sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) desiccated coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 onion, sliced and caramelized
  • Garnish

  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) unscented oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


Heat the oil or ghee in a sauté pan, and add the onion. Fry for about 5 minutes, then add the chopped tomato, if using, and the bafat spice mix.

Fry gently for about 5 – 7 minutes, then add the chickpeas, hot water and tamarind concentrate. Cook together for 2 – 3 minutes, then add the grated palm sugar. Stir, then season to taste with salt.

Add the desiccated coconut, and stir together until the coconut starts absorbing some of the sauce. Stir in the caramelized onions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil for the garnish in a small pan, and add the curry leaves. Fry together for 30 seconds, then pour it over the chickpeas, with a quick stir.

Serve with rice or Indian breads.


  • Bafat spice mix is a versatile, homemade spice blend that works well with chickpea and vegetable curries as well as pork and chicken.  Here’s Michelle’s recipe for Bafat Spice Mix.
Recipe and photo courtesy of

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